As an incredible surprise, a food service worker in a Chicago area children’s hospital, Jessie Tendayi, saved up for an amazing surprise for the children who were at the hospital, keeping the surprise all to herself.
The worker, 54 years old, working at the Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, does something very special. She saves her hard earned cash to do something special for the children at the hospital at Christmas, however, this year her surprise really blew everyone away!
The Chicago Tribune reports that Tendayi saved up all year and spent around $5,000 of her own money to buy 1,300 toys, doing all the shopping for the toys herself!
Tendayi said to the Chicago Tribune:
“I have to do what I have to do to make the children happy”
Tendayi arrived at the Hospital and Advocate Lutheran General, in Park Ridge, on the 12th December with the toys and the children were able to walk through all the awesome gifts and choose one for themselves.
She began buying the toys for the children back in 2009, and on that year she bought, in comparison, 100 presents for the children in the hospital. Each year since then she has tried to increase the number of presents she buys, arriving at an incredible 1,300 this year!
“Why do I do it? God put it in my heart” … “One day I was watching TV and I saw children in need. I asked myself, ‘What should I do for them to calm down what they are going through?’ So I started saving my money to make sure the children had something to play with while they are sick, so they can forget their pain.”
Zimbabwe was the hometown of Tendayi where she moved from around 19 years ago, the two didn’t have any children, but, she says:
“I do now. I do have a lot.”
18 years ago Tendayi was hired to work in the hospital cafeteria and while she makes a modest living with her job, it’s not a lot, but nevertheless, she has a savings account where every month she sets aside money to save up for Christmas presents for the children.
“It’s not about being rich. It’s not about money” …“The little we have, we can share. For me, it’s a blessing. I’m able to make a difference for the children. Children, they need somebody who cares about them. You want to make a difference to them. I felt in my heart I had to do something for the children.”
The biggest gift is seeing how the children appreciate the gifts, Tendayi says the children make her feel like she actually has a huge family of her own.
She also said:
“I’m happy. I’m happy to do this” … “When God puts this in your heart, you don’t get tired.You love what you’re doing. I love helping other people.”